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Harold Bloom

His work is portentous, his ideas useless. Bloom's reputation needs puncturing if literary criticism is again to be taken seriously

By Joseph Epstein   December 2002

Harold Bloom, the Yale professor and literary critic, has been on a roll. His last two major books, The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages and Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, were both bestsellers-unusual in itself for works of such high intellectual pretension. When the latter came out in paperback, its US publisher sent out a vast number of copies in its own special floor display, a la John Grisham. Bloom has recently won a MacArthur Fellowship, better known as a genius grant or a Big Mac; been chosen to deliver the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures…

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